DOSBox is a free open source emulator that focuses on IBM-based Personal Computers and peripherals from the 1980s and 90s.
Some of the hardware it emulates includes:
- Intel Processors: 80286, 80386, 80486, Pentium
- Video cards: Monochrome, Hercules, CGA, PCjr Display, TGA, EGA, VGA, and multiple SVGA cards
- Memory expanders: XMS, EMS, UMB
- Sound: PC speaker, Tandy 3-Voice, Tandy DAC, Speech Thing, Game Blaster, Ad-Lib, Sound Blaster, Sound Blaster Pro, Sound Blaster 16, UltraSound
- Drives: Floppy disks, CD-ROM, hard disks
- Communication: Modem, null modem, serial, IPX network
- Other: Various joysticks
Unfortunately, the release of builds for DOSBox have slowed to a crawl, and despite plenty of new features having been added to the source, there hasn't been a full build in over eight years. Thankfully, Yesterplay 80 has put together the Enhanced Community Edition which not only includes builds of the latest source, but also adds a lot more functionality and features. You can download their version here.
Installing From Multiple Floppies
DOSBox doesn't currently support mounting multiple disk images onto a single drive letter, so, to install a program that requires multiple floppies, do the following:
- Boot up DOSBox.
- Extract the contents of the first floppy into the folder you want. I'll use C:\Disk as an example.
- In DOSBox, type "MOUNT A C:\DISK" and hit enter.
- Then, type "A:" to get to the floppy.
- Run the installation program.
- When the installation program asks for the next disk, return to your desktop and delete the files in C:\DISK, then replace them with the files from the next disk.
- In DOSBox, press CTRL+F4 to reload the mounts.
- In the installation program, hit the button to read from the next disk. The program should identify the files as the correct disk.
- Repeat steps 6 through 9 until the installation completes.
Note, some installers have special checks to verify that they can only be installed from their actual disks (by checking the disk label, or more clever tactics). Using this method will not work when trying to install such a program. You'll have to find another method or wait until the DOSBox IMGMOUNT program supports multiple floppy images.
- blog.yesterplay80.net/dosbox-ece-en - DOSBox Enhanced Community Edition